Summer is in full swing, temperatures are reaching record-breaking highs and more hot days are on their way. For some this means barbecues, countryside walks and picnics, but for wholesalers it means more demand for water than ever before.
During the hot weather, the amount of water used drastically increases, particularly at peak times of the day. This puts a lot of pressure on water companies to supply enough water to meet demand. If everyone draws on the supply at the same time it could lead to lower water pressure, a weak flow of tap water and even potential water restrictions in some regions of England. With more heatwaves forecast over the coming months, it’s so important to keep the water supply flowing freely from our taps so we can stay healthy and hydrated and businesses can continue to run as usual.
Wholesalers up and down the country are working hard to maintain our water networks. Southern Water and South East Water are the first wholesalers to introduce drought restrictions, known as a Temporary Use Ban for households in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight but it’s crucial all businesses also save water and reduce wastage wherever possible. Non-household customers account for c.30% of all water use, so if every business works to drive down their consumption, it’ll help make sure there’s enough water to go round.
What can my business do?
Small changes can make a big difference. Some of the things you can do to help are:
- Reduce how much water your business is using. Anywhere you can cut down your water usage will help.
- Address any leaks straight away. Not only will it save your business money, but the UK wastes over 3 billion litres of water every day, just through leaks. That’s the same as 20 million people’s water use on an average day. Contact your retailer today if you think you have a leak.
- Stop or reduce heavy water use during peak times. 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm are when water is used the most by both non-household and household customers.
- Stop irrigation during the midday heat. Wherever possible, carry out irrigation at cooler times of the day when demand isn’t as high.
- Check for leaks on toilets, taps and urinals. Even a small steady drip can waste 200-400 litres a day – that’s as much as a family of four’s total daily use!
- Stop urinals from flushing overnight. Uncontrolled urinals can flush three times an hour, even when no one is in the building, wasting thousands of litres of water a day. For a nine-litre cistern, this could cost a business more than £700 per year, per cistern.
- Put your contingency plan into play. If your business has on-site storage tanks or alternative water supplies (boreholes etc), can you use these to reduce your usage in peak times during hot weather?
- Educate your staff about saving water. They might not be thinking about water efficiency at work, so it’s worth raising awareness about how to save water and report leaks wherever possible.